La Fabbrica del Cioccolato is a non-profit swiss foundation created in 2016 in order to promote a platform for the support of contemporary art and culture as well as to preserve historical and architectural heritage of the former chocolate factory Cima Norma, built at the dawn of the 20th century by the Cima Brothers in the Blenio Valley (Southern Swiss Canton of Ticino). May 2016 saw the launching of the activities of the Foundation which in its first years was characterized by its artistic programme called Foreigness, elaborated by Franco Marinotti. During these years various forms of artistic expressions such as painting, sculpture, video, film, theatre, dance and music formed an interdisciplinary dialogue in such a way as to form a dynamic laboratory in constant development centred on the interaction between art in its diverse expressive forms and the territorial context in which it is located. A territorial context that was understood as a cultural, social and political patrimony in constant transformation. With an intense series of events it was in particular possible to investigate the way in which local and global demands and needs were faced within the concrete context of the Blenio Valley.
2017 saw the start of the Foundation’s collaboration with the Re/fugium Association which in the former workers’ housing – formerly used as a boarding house for the female factory workers – began a residence programme titled Cima Città. The programme’s intention is to promote a creative place, one of reflection and networking, bringing together people involved in different fields: art, society, politics, science and music. The objective was the uniting of people of different disciplines in a place that acted as a laboratory for the development and exchange of innovatory ideas permitting the creation of new transdisciplinary approaches capable of answering the pressing need advanced by contemporary questions and problems.
Besides the Cima Città residency programme the Foundation continues to give its spaces to artists, art schools or cultural institutions which need a place in which to carry out seminars, work groups and laboratories, in this way establishing collaborative relationships that are durable. Starting with 2020 the Foundation’s cultural activity addressed to a broader public is above all being concentrated in establishing an interdisciplinary art festival whose artistic direction has been entrusted to Elio Schenini.
Among the Foundation’s events, the new project called Future Fermentation, curated by Matteo Fieni, takes place. This project will bring to life the inaugural Fermentation Days, an event scheduled from September 22nd to 24th, 2023, where guests will have the opportunity to explore the world of fermentation through seminars, artistic installations, interactive workshops, and tastings.